Most consumers will spend the same as or more than last year on holiday shopping, the NPD Group Inc. reported late Tuesday.
The group's annual holiday spending survey showed that nearly 80 percent of shoppers will spend about the same or more compared to the 2012 holiday season. About a fifth of those polled said they plan to spend less this year.
“Consumers are feeling better about the economy compared to last year and they plan to take advantage of sales during key periods,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD's chief industry analyst.
But retailers will have to hook shoppers in with better deals, he said, largely because of fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. About a third of shoppers plan to buy all their holiday gifts on sale.
Clothing again topped the list of products consumers plan to buy, followed by toys, movies or DVDs, fragrances, video gaming systems or games and small personal accessories.
More consumers this year have already started shopping or plan to start before Thanksgiving, the survey said.
They'll be heading mostly to mass discounters such as Target and Walmart (52 percent), to online sites (43 percent), to national chains such as Sears and Kohl's (29 percent) or to department stores such as Macy's and Bloomingdale's (22 percent). Smaller shares of shoppers plan to buy in toy stores, outlet stores, electronics stores or specialty stores.